Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 109
“But you, Sovereign Lord,
help me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.” Psalm 109:21
God’s means for our deliverance was put in place since the beginning of time. Here we are to Good Friday where the scriptural accounts and the dramatizations help us understand a little bit more each year as we struggle to comprehend the magnitude of God’s love, His provisions, and Jesus’ sacrifice.
Lord, it is only through Your Name’s sake and only out of Your goodness that I can be delivered from sin and death. A broken and contrite heart you will not despise. Because of my sin, I am beyond broken but I am not too far from Your reach. Thank you, Jesus.
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 16
“Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing. ” Psalm 16:1-2
There are always difficulties. Since the Fall of Man, there have been wars and disease and sin.
Theirs…Yours… and Mine.
And God continues to offer His grace and mercy and forgiveness and love. Along with those good things, He reminds us:
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
Now, more than ever, I wonder where things are headed in our world. There is so much corruption, pain, illness, and death that I need to reorient my thinking multiple times a day. As Scripture says,
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
Life is hard. God is good. And God’s goodness is not dependent on my circumstances.
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 32
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ — and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
It is so easy to be so shocked and appalled and caught up in everyone else’s sin yet neglect our own important self-reflection and confession. Confession is so important because it is an acknowledgement of sin in our own lives.
Consider those things in your life you would like to confess because they weigh on you. You can certainly just confess those things to God — I find it helpful if I talk out loud since I am a verbal processor. But if you want some feedback in the way of spoken forgiveness, seek out a healthy pastor or priest for absolution.
Confession so often becomes one of those things we look for in others but, maybe, are not so keen on surrendering ourselves. Sometimes our busy and distracted lifestyle interrupts the time we need to contemplate our sin and confess it as such.
And the peace and healing that comes from confession? Unparalleled. That’s why it is said, “Confession is good for the soul!”
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 27
“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1
Psalm 27 has so much good stuff in it!
And still, even with knowing the truths that are there, at times I am still fearful. I think I dwell on too many “what ifs”. I cannot control the future. Even though there are times I wish I could, it is for the best that I can’t. The best I can do is control my responses to situations. Knowing that the Lord is my shelter, my fortress, my salvation, my light, and the stronghold of my life helps me put the “what ifs” into a proper perspective.
Recently, to every “what if” I have been trying to say “even if” instead and I recount the promises of God’s presence, perspective, and peace.
Psalm 27:5 says “For in the day of trouble…” and it reminds me that we all have days of trouble. Sometimes there are many days of “trouble” in a row. But “he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
There is no end to hardship in personal relationships, work situations, physical health, or the circumstances found in the world today because we live in a world full of sinners who make selfish choices. I have made quite a few sinful choices myself to the pain and detriment of myself and others. But God works in and through us and, often in spite of us to share His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love to our hurting world!
This has always been a favorite song for me. The tune is simple but the words are powerful…I pray you are able to release all difficult situations in your life into God’s care!
At the Cross
I know a place, a wonderful place
Where accused and condemned
Find mercy and grace
Where the wrongs we have done
And the wrongs done to us
Were nailed there with Him
There at the cross
At the cross,
At the cross
He died for our sin
At the cross,
At the cross
He gave us life again
More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/v/vineyard/
Have you ever visited someplace and awakened in the middle of the night, when it was very dark, and wondered “Where am I?” I have slept many places and I usually do ok but if I am overtired or stressed I have been known to get disoriented. I usually lie there a long time blinking my eyes with my mind racing to put together the place and the circumstances that led to where I am. And then I remember how it is I got there.
Have you ever lived a period of your life making some crazy selfish choices and then, one day, you “wake up” to the consequences of your actions and wonder “Where am I and how did I get here?”
Sometimes it is plain ugly to come face to face with the destruction of our situation and even uglier to remember it was done by our own hand! How can this possibly be redeemed?
There are several ways to respond. Here are a few options with varying degrees of success:
- Abruptly change course and run as fast as you can. Occasionally there are still some things that might hang onto you but breaking free and high-tailing it out of there are actually pretty good moves depending on the situation.
- Accept your penalties and wallow in self-pity and self-deprecation. This is an easy way to drive people away from you. If you want to be lonely, chart this course.
- Try to hide your past so that no one knows how stupid or misled you were. Spend a lifetime hiding your embarrassing actions. Pretend you have never done them. Criticize others who have made the same mistake so others wouldn’t ever suspect you yourself have done such a thing. Not recommended.
- Study your past ad nauseum (to a ridiculous degree) so you cannot see anything past yesterday. In theory, this plan has some merit. It is a wise move to avoid making the same mistake twice. But if you keep looking in the rearview mirror you can’t see where you are going if you are trying to move forward!
- Take an honest assessment. Admit your failures. Ask God for forgiveness. Ask God for His help in putting the pieces back together. There may be a difficult lifetime of consequences for a single selfish act but it is an important and God-sized work that something begun in selfishness be transformed and redeemed into a blessing. Only God can do that. He has done it for me and He can do it for you!
As we all grow toward maturity in Christ we are hopefully less impulsive and much more attuned to following God’s lead the first time. Then when we wake up and wonder “Where am I?” We can remember “Oh yes, I am right where He wants me to be!”
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I would imagine we all have a little different idea about what constitutes lovely. But while we live in this world we will see some ugliness. Some of it will come from us. Some of it will happen to us. Some of it will happen to those we love. It is easy to dwell in what is truly ugly in this world because we bump into it all day long. Sin is all around us and it brings out some un-lovely things.
It is incredible that God can look at us and see beauty because Christ has covered our sin. Amazing. There is so much that is lovely in God’s Word and God’s promises. And in the difficult days of Holy Week–in the pain and suffering and sacrifice and surrendering of Jesus there is the beauty of God’s love that is displayed. So while God has created nature — much of it simply beautiful and breath-taking, it would seem His most amazing work is when He takes the thing we can’t possibly imagine as a good, right, or lovely thing and makes it so.
God’s idea of beauty is so unlike ours. He can bring beauty from ashes. He proclaims beautiful the feet that bring Good News.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 NIV
May your sweet feet travel far as you share what He has done in your life! God Loves You! No Foolin’!